AML Patient Profile: Jordan Supino
As Jordan Supino shares his acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient story, it’s quite striking to hear his love of life and passion for helping others. Calling himself “The Cancer Killer,” Jordan has an inspiring dedication to fitness, faith, family, finance, and fun, for overall health and wellness. He shares the perspective he’s gained, “People need to understand that there’s a purpose for everything. We go through situations, and you have to see it for what it is. What’s the message? You may be listening to the doctor, but you need to hear what it’s preparing you for. I believe that everything that we go through in life is truly preparing us to grow later in life. If you learn to start cooperating instead of chasing, those tests will become your testimony for the world. There’s a greater good in learning to help others.”
As for Jordan’s cancer journey, it began with being hit with hot and cold sweats along with major leg cramps that he’d never experienced before. He dismissed the symptoms and returned for a gym workout a few days later when his body started trembling, which brought on a partial collapse and his legs becoming locked up in extreme pain. Jordan was diagnosed with AML in July 2011, which led to him being hospitalized for about two months while he received high-dose chemotherapy.
After completing that round of chemotherapy, Jordan’s doctors informed him that he’d need to return for his next round of chemo in 4-1/2 weeks and to prepare for a bone marrow transplant. Much to his doctors’ surprise, he vowed to them that God would be granting him a miracle and that the power of his mindset would eliminate the cancer and any thought of a bone marrow transplant. Jordan further promised that he’d bench press 500 pounds before his next round of chemo to demonstrate the power that can come from the combined power of one’s faith and mindset and the cancer would disappear.
When Jordan was in the hospital, he had hundreds of people go to visit him. He recalls about the visits, “I was just blown away by all these people. And a lot of them I didn’t know or couldn’t remember. They were sharing stories with me about how they’d crossed paths with me sometime in my life. Whether it was some words of wisdom that I gave them or helped them pay a bill or took them to dinner or something, they felt indebted to come pay it back to me. And I felt like if God decides to take me now, I’m okay with that, but I’m not ready just yet.” He knew he’d done a lot of good in the world helping people but felt that his work wasn’t finished yet.
Jordan continued with his chemotherapy treatment for 4 months. But he decided that he wanted to do some shopping for gifts before Christmas. Jordan wore a mask and bundled up for his shopping outing, but another test hit Jordan on December 27 when he woke up with a 107-degree temperature and was partially blind. He collapsed at the hospital and went through enduring pneumonia, heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, blood clots, fluid-filled and blood-filled lungs, bloodline infections, full septic shock, and a 24-day induced coma. Jordan’s body and spirit weren’t ready to surrender, however. He woke up, and his doctors told him it could take up to a month to start walking again. Jordan blew away that estimate and was walking in two days. His doctors also told him it could take up to a year for his full recovery, but he gained 50 pounds in six weeks and was unrecognizable to hospital ICU staff due to his drastic health change.
While in the hospital, Jordan made it part of his routine to help others. He recalls of his hospital stays,
“I made it a point to not just survive adversity, because I’m someone who thrives against adversity. People tell me I’m a cancer survivor, but I say that I’m a cancer killer and that I rise above it. You can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you react. It sounds cliche, but how many people actually hear it? How many people actually adopt it? How many people actually apply it and see the results of it? I’m a walking testament to that.” Jordan decided to help other people in the hospital who didn’t have visitors to see them. Hospital staff called him affectionately “Dr. Real Deal or No Deal.” The doctors would call him when people were having a hard time or felt like giving up. He’d visit several people each day and sit with them. And Jordan would learn about them or tell them stories from his life. “Whether I was preaching to them, laughing, doing some cardio down the hallways, or just getting them moving and grooving and feeling good about themselves; it was so magical to see all these people just start living. They stopped saying, ‘Why me’ and started adopting the ‘Why not me?’” Hospital staff brought in creative items where the staff and patients created inspirational artwork with motivational sayings that made an immediate impact and has continued to do so over the years. The huge pieces of artwork were transferred to the new oncology unit in a new building and are still making an impact on patients and their families today.
As for advice for other cancer patients, Jordan shares, “I don’t allow myself to stress. I don’t allow myself to create anxiety. And I don’t allow myself to get depressed. If I feel anything trying to creep up on me, I find these different things to do to get myself through and grow. Whether it’s going out and getting some sun or going out and feeding the ducks and meditating by a pond or going for a walk knowing that when the body moves the brain grooves or putting on some music or lifting some weights at the gym, knowing how to control your mindset is key. You have to know that you’re in control, and you have to act like the change you want has already happened. When you’re feeling bad, just punch it in the mouth to get better. How much have you ever pushed yourself to the limit? You become a little bit stronger and a little bit wiser from pushing yourself. Life is all about perspective in any situation we go through.”
Jordan has come to many realizations over the span of his life and time with cancer. He believes in changing your environment to what you need. “When you’re struck with adversity and things like cancer, it’s okay to rest, but there’s still more work to be done. This is your story and the card that you’ve been dealt to serve a bigger purpose. If the hospital food isn’t cutting it, find a friend who can cook. If you’ve got a negative person around you, find someone who’s joyful. If that person who’s hugging you isn’t a good hugger, get a good hugger. If you don’t like that background music, change the music. This is your world, and you become what you surround yourself with. You need to just focus on being the best version of you. If you stop chasing and start seeing cancer as the gift that it may possibly be, then you’ll learn how to cooperate and to ultimately become just an amazing masterpiece and things for others to witness.”
Through his work, Jordan coaches people one on one – emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially – whatever the case may be. And for those facing a cancer diagnosis, he poses this question, “Do you want to live, or do you want to die? I want to live. You die only once. You live every day. I’m going to live and enjoy blessings, prosperity, and goodness in helping others.”